Graceful reaction by Jessica Mauboy on 20th place, as she praises Netta Barzilai

Jessica Mauboy and Paul Clarke

The 20th place in the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest was not the achievement Jessica Mauboy hoped to book on behalf of Australia. Still, she reacted in the most graceful way on her result, also handing out compliments to winner Netta Barzilai from Israel.

Fronting the media after the grand final in Lisbon, Portugal, Mauboy spoke elegantly and with grace, about the disappointing result for Australia and about her pride in Australia’s presence in the iconic competition.

“We have done eight shows throughout the lead-up and in every one I have given my best and done all I can in terms of my process and my focus,” Mauboy said. “Mentally and physically I have done the best of both, going strong in my vocals, going strong in my routine, going strong with the audience and the crowd. I really, honestly felt like I gave my all and sang my heart out as much as I could.”

Jessica Mauboy: “Netta Barzilai the deserved winner of Eurovision”

In a gracious gesture, Mauboy paid tribute to the competition’s winner – Israel’s Netta Barzilai. “Netta deserves it, I met her in Israel and I knew then she was such a strong woman,” Mauboy said. “To see her up there so empowered, as a female artist and musician, it was really, really gorgeous.”

Mauboy said she believed Australia had a strong future in Eurovision. “To think Australia is now part of [this], we’re representing each other, we’re competing, we get to write and deliver songs on that stage,” she said. “Getting to the final was all I could think about … and I felt like I won anyway to be there.”

Head of Delegation Paul Clarke: “Jessica Mauboy was brilliant”

Australia’s head of delegation Paul Clarke said Mauboy had performed “brilliantly”. “Australia can be proud of the way she performed,” Clarke said. “I think Jessica won a lot of hearts and sold a lot of records.”

Clarke said that the result was a reminder of the unpredictability of Eurovision. “I felt in the room there was just this incredible sense that she performed … that was the best performance I have ever seen her give,” Clarke said.